Once upon a time there lived a simple fisherman who one day, while strolling on the shore of the ocean, came upon a group of beautiful, young women who were bathing in the water. Nearby, at the foot of a pine tree, he found a beautiful robe made of very rare materials. The young man realized that the robe must belong to one of the lovely nymphs. He stole the robe and took it home with him.
Without her gossamer robe Ceres, the Celestial Nymph, could not return to the heavens. When she saw the young man she asked him, "Do you know where my robe is? If it is you who has it I beg of you to return it to me." But the young man made as if he knew nothing about the whereabouts of the robe. Unable to return home the Nymph cried all the tears her body had to cry and finished by eventually marrying the young man.
The Nymph bore the fisherman several children and one day, several years later, one of the children sang a song that spoke of the Robe, hidden by her husband, and of its location.
With her robe returned to her the Celestial Nymph returned once more to the heavens for which she yearned…
Leaving behind her husband…
And her children…
That's how the ancient Japanese legend goes… But the Mikage family knows a different ending to the story; The celestial Nymph never found the Robe although she did one day come to realize that it had been her husband who had stolen and hidden the robe. She cursed his descendents, her own descendents, for this, and vowed that through her blood she would be resurrected in the body of one of her descendents and exact revenge upon the fisherman's descendants, as well as find her robe and return to the heavens.
It would seem that 16-year-old Aya Mikage is the re-incarnation of the celestial Nymph, Ceres. Will Aya kill her family, or will they kill her first? Or will she be able to resist Ceres and survive her family's attempts to kill her?
Ayashi no Ceres is the latest Manga and Anime series from Yuu Watase, best known as the creator of Fushiigi Yugi
Other characters include Aya's bishonen twin brother Aki, who also holds an important part in this celestial fairy tale. Aya and Aki have been best friends their entire lives, but following the events of their 16th birthday, they may never be able to see each other again.
Toya, Aya's mysterious "sauveur" who has no recollection of his past yet seems inexplicably linked to Ceres. Despite saving Aya on numerous occasions, Toya is pledged to the Mikages and may be her most potent enemy.
Suzumi Aogiri is drawn to Aya because she has also inherited the blood of a nymph, although Aya's is much more potent. When Aya is forced to flee from her family Suzumi brings Aya into her home and appoints her younger brother, Yuhi Aogiri, to be Aya's bodyguard. Although the 16-year-old Yuhi is a formidable fighter, he wants nothing to do with this story of nymphs and would rather be in the kitchen cooking up a ménage of wonderful foods for his family. Fortunately for Aya, although much to her own disliking at times, Suzumi is a very persuasive woman, leaving Yuhi with little choice but to protect Aya.
As the story progresses, new relationships are formed, enemies become lovers and friends become enemies, but one thing that remains constant is excellent, emotionally charged story telling. Ayashi no Ceres is as good as Shojou gets, and regardless of whether or not you are a fan of Shojou, this is one Manga worth looking into!
Viz Comics will be releasing the first of 14 volumes (190 pages each) of Ayashi no Ceres this summer.